The number of people fired over social media gaffes is rising, and many employers look closely at a job candidate’s online presence before making a decision. Yes, social media can ruin your life.
According to a survey from CareerBuilder, 39% of employers dig into candidates on social sites, while 43% said they had found something that made them deep-six a candidate such as posting inappropriate photos or information or bad-mouthing a former boss. It’s not all bad news though. 19% of employers said they found information that sold them on a candidate, such as communication skills or a professional image.
When it comes to social media mistakes, Twitter is among the top three most popular, along with Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
If you aren’t careful about the nature of what you are tweeting, it can have a devastatingly negative impact on your life, as the following 10 examples illustrate.
How Social Media Can Ruin Your Life
Connor Riley on Cisco
Riley was offered a job at Cisco when she tweeted “Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.” Cisco employees saw the tweet and suffice to say, Connor Riley never had to worry about that commute. Needless to say, don’t bad mouth a position before you accept it.
Gabriella Pasqualotto on Fair Treatment of Cheerleaders
Gabriella Pasqualotto, a cheerleader for several cricket teams went to Twitter to give details about how poorly the players treated the cheerleaders. This angered team owners and she was promptly fired. If you have human resources concerns, don’t go to Twitter with them. Go to Human Resources. If that doesn’t work, lawyer up.
Rashard Mendenhall on Osama Bin Laden’s Death
Even if Rashard Mendenhall’s intentions were good, his execution of this tweet following the death of Osama bin Laden didn’t sit too well with most Americans – “What kind of person celebrates death? It’s amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We’ve only heard one side…” It is smart to be prudent on tweeting out your political views, particularly when your fans, audience or clients may not hold the same views as yours.
Damian Goddard on Same-Sex Marriage
Damian Goddard, a Toronto based sportscaster was fired after he posted some odd tweets about same-sex marriage that got him in hot water. Just like politics, your views on religion should stay out of the public eye.
Stephanie Rice – Homophobia
Australian Olympic swimmer Stephanie Rice lost her sponsorship with Jaguar automobiles after she tweeted homophobic slurs in response to an Australian rugby victory over South Africa. When you act as a spokesmodel, you’re expected to represent your sponsors at all times – even when you’re on social media.
Larry Johnson – Homophobic Tweets
Larry Johnson found himself in quite a pickle after tweeting homophobic slurs and calling his head coach, Todd Haley out on Twitter. Shortly after, he was out of the NFL.
Scott Bartosiewicz – Live Tweeting
Scott Bartosiewicz was fired for a simple misunderstanding. He worked as a social media strategist for Chrysler and accidentally tweeted profane language via their account when he meant to do it from his personal account. Why it is a great idea to use a social media scheduling tool like Socialdraft.
Gilbert Gottfried – Aflac
Comedian Gilbert Gottfried was fired from voicing the Aflac duck after he tweeted insensitive jokes in the wake of the Japanese tsunami. While it hasn’t ruined his comedy career, you will no longer hear his voice when watching Aflac commercials.
Nicole Crowther – Tweeting Spoilers
Nicole Crowther was an actress who worked on the set of Glee for a period of time before she started tweeting out plot spoilers. When show producers saw what she had done, they tweeted this to her, “Hope you’re qualified to do something besides work in entertainment.” Then she was fired. Keep trade secrets – secret.
Anthony Weiner’s Weiner…
How could anyone forget Anthony Weiner? The man made legendary by his Twitter fiasco can never be forgotten. He tweeted lewd pictures of himself to his followers and has basically become the laughingstock of the political world.